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Title: Representing genocide : the Holocaust as paradigm?
Author: Jinks, Rebecca
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis addresses how far the Holocaust and its representation have influenced the representation of other genocides, focusing specifically on the Armenian, Cambodian, Bosnian, and Rwandan cases. At the same time, it also considers how western publics might interpret and respond to these representations, and with what effect. Using literature, film, photography, and memorialisation, the thesis argues that we can only understand the Holocaust's status as a 'benchmark' for other genocides if we look at the deeper, structural resonances which subtly shape many representations of genocide - thereby countering much of the existing literature, whose focus is on explicit references to the Holocaust and the surrounding identity politics. The thesis is divided into five sections, which explore: how genocides are recognised as such by western publics; the representation of the origins and perpetrators of genocide; how western witnesses represent genocide; representations of the aftermath of genocide; and western responses to genocide. Throughout, it distinguishes between 'mainstream' and other, more nuanced and engaged, representations of genocide. It argues that these mainstream representations - the majority - largely replicate the representational framework of the Holocaust, including the way in which mainstream Holocaust representations resist recognising the rationality, instrumentality and normality of genocide, preferring instead to present it as an aberrant, exceptional event in human society. By contrast, the more engaged representations - often, but not always, originating from those who experienced genocide - tend to revolve around precisely genocide's ordinariness, and the structures and situations common to human society which contribute to and become involved in the violence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available